February 5, 2023

Midterm election recap: the people have spoken

Every other November, Americans over the age of 18 are encouraged to go and perform their duty as citizens of this country by voting for who will represent them in the federal government. 

Nationwide, all of the seats in the house of representatives were up, along with 36 state governorships as well. There were also 35 seats up for reelection in the Senate, not including many other local and statewide offices. 

The Democrats were able to hold on to their majority in the Senate, practically speaking. They were able to bring their total to 48 seats and two independent seats that historically align with them. Currently, 49 seats belong to the Republican party. 

The Democrats were able to flip the Pennsylvania Senate seat when current Lieutenant governor John Fetterman defeated Republican TV personality, Dr. Mehmet Oz.

The Georgia Senate election ended in a too-close margin. Now, incumbent Senator Raphael Warnock (D) and former football player Herschel Walker (R) will face each other again in the runoff election in December. Regardless of who wins, the Democrats will hold on to control of the Senate until the next election. 

The Republicans were able to regain control of the House for the first time since 2018. They hold a total of 220 seats, gaining eight seats in the midterm. As of now, two seats haven’t been called.

Current Speaker of the House, Nancy Peloi, is expected to be succeeded by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy from California.

Of the 36 governorships up for election, 18 went to the Republican party and 18 went to the Democrat party. The Democrats flipped Arizona, Maryland and Massachusetts, while the Republicans flipped Nevada.

In Ohio, with Senator Rob Portman retiring after the end of his current term, the senator’s seat is up for grabs. The Democrats nominated state representative and previous candidate for President in 2020, Tim Ryan. The Republicans nominated author and commentator, J.D. Vance. 

Ryan has defined himself as more of a moderate Democrat. His positions covered immigration reforms, clean energy and affordable healthcare.

Vance is self-described as a “true conservative.” His positions include supporting illegalizing abortion, gun rights and other “America-first” policies. Donald Trump endorsed Vance for the race, despite Vance being critical of the former President in the past.

In the end, Vance won the election to succeed Senator Portman.

For Ohio’s governorship, incumbent Governor Mike DeWine went up against Mayor of Dayton, Nan Whaley. 

DeWine has received criticism from both sides of the political aisle. Members of his own party have criticized him for his mandates and restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Democrats have criticized him for passing strict abortion laws and legalizing concealed carry.

Whaley, during her mayorship, presided during the 2019 Dayton shooting. She also worked to decrease unemployment rates and combat the opioid crisis. She has received criticism for raising taxes and fees, as well as a high poverty and crime rate, in Dayton during her tenure.

In the end, DeWine was reelected to serve a second term.

Out of the 15 seats in the House of Representatives for Ohio, 10 went to the Republican party and five went to the Democrat party. 

Many were expecting a “red wave.” This is due to the many polarizing policies of the Biden administration, as well as the rising inflation rates that have occurred in the past year. While the Republicans performed well in certain states (notably Florida), they performed nationally below expectations in certain battleground states.

Those on the right credit a lower voter turnout, or even voter fraud, as reasons why the wave wasn’t as large as expected. Those on the left credit former President Donald Trump losing influence. It’s clear that Trump still has influence in the Republican party, especially given how many of his endorsements were nominated and even won. 

Trump’s influence over independent voters seems less significant, though. Even within the Republican party, rising stars like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Arizona Gubernatorial Candidate Kari Lake seem to be gaining national popularity. Candidates like them may become the future of the Republican party.

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